Reactions have started trailing Governor Seyi Makinde’s quarterly media chat:
Read Olawoyin’s opinion on the conversation:
1. I find Governor Seyi Makinde’s calm demeanour in his BCOS interview this morning quite fascinating. When there is widespread tension, and emotions seem to be running wild, a leader needs such calmness to make rational decisions.
My worry is where this calmness snowballs into aloofness and sheer insouciance, as in where the governor said he sleeps soundly and goes about his daily routine without disruption even in the middle of the chaos. I’m hoping he realizes there is a need to strike a balance somewhere as time and situations demand. May the good Lord guide him aright.
2. The governor has now officially admitted that the Botswana maize project is as good as unrealistic. He says the government is now looking in the direction of Cassava.
I’m hopeful that this will be better handled this time, just so we can expand the economic frontiers and create wealth/prosperity for our deeply impoverished people.
3. Governor Makinde still conceives every criticism largely from a simplistic, narrow, “We-against-them” political prism. This isn’t necessarily so. Criticism is the life-blood of any vibrant system and things can only get better when we self-reflect. The ultimate is to separate the chaff from the wheat: pick the useful ones and discard those you don’t find useful.
4. Governor Makinde doesn’t pretend to be one excellent speaker, and so there is this subtle incoherence in his thoughts and ideas. One hopes that there is clarity in terms of policy formulation, and that this incoherence doesn’t reflect in policy implementation.
For one, we’d expect more clarity in this new Cassava idea.
5.The governor understands that expectations are high, and he seems working to address some of these unmet expectations. He is talking about “new architecture” in waste management, for instance.
That’s a pointer to his realization that things aren’t working as they should in some sectors. Of course, because this is contrary to what his handlers would make us believe, this is quite commendable.
6. There is clarity in his appreciation of the stumbling blocks against investment and tourism, and he seems to have deeper grasp of the place of private capital in growth and development. That’s no surprise, given his private sector background. But beyond rhetorics, one hopes he would move to actionable plan.
7. My biggest take-away is in the governor’s own admission that there is “failure of intelligence (gathering)” in Oyo State’s security architecture. It’s one point every Ojo and Ige bellyaches over on the streets.
Intelligence gathering needs to be bottom-up, right from the domains of the Mogajis inside the Agbooles, just so government would be proactive, rather than being reactive, to security challenges.
Hopefully, the implementation phase would indeed signal a new direction.
Ipinle Oyo o ni baje.
Olawoyin is an award winning journalist
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